I am an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at NYU. I do theoretically sophisticated work in cultural history (so I'm told) but blanch any time anyone says the word 'theory' to me (so I'm also told). My work occasionally does not have a sufficient number of cartoon zombies in it. I own a cat that, three name-changes in, remains not named after the late Prof. Dr. Schirmann.
You can find more about my work at my web page and my academia.edu profile.
About this blog:
Meshalim, amthal and exiemplos are the Hebrew, Arabic and (medieval, sometimes spelled differently) Castilian words for short stories that usually appear in some kind of textual frame. Since I work in all three of those languages (and some Latin when the situation calls for it) and these are short narrative accounts of aspects of my life as a working medievalist, those three words combined seemed like the aptest way to describe this project when I began it in the summer of 2011 in the runup to my doctoral dissertation defense.
Initially, this blog was a way to force myself to write in complete form more regularly, to purge my style of the academese that had come to inhere to it while I wrote my dissertation — I wanted to start sounding like myself again when I wrote. I thought that having at least the possibility of an audience would compel me to draw my thoughts out more fully and completely.
Three and a half years in and it's still a work in progress. Most regularly, blogging is a way to get my brain going in the morning by doing lower-stakes writing before I get on to the higher-stakes stuff. It's also been a way to reflect on teaching and research questions and connect with the wider digital medieval community. I envy the bloggers who regularly write thoughtful-self contained essays, and I still aspire in that direction, though who knows if I shall ever get there.
Commenting policy: Comments are moderated to prevent spam and flame wars. Comments are approved at my discretion. With the exception of my one regular anonymous commenter (whose identity is known to me and whom I can identify both by style and IP address), I much prefer some kind of identification attached to comments, be it a name, a pseudonym, or some kind of general identification. Anonymous comments are less likely to be approved and posted than ones written by an identified commenter.